WORLD Magazine recently ran two articles on the “growing movement” of Christians caring for orphans. The first focused on the increasing engagement of Christians in local foster care. I loved the title of the second: “Taking Back Orphan Care.” It reports on the significant increases in investment by Christians in supporting care for orphans around the world, as well as increased openness to both inter-country and local adoption. One excerpt describes:
Karen Bergstrom, a psychologist and chief programs officer of [CAFO Member] Olive Crest, a West Coast-based non-profit child welfare organization, said church involvement in orphan care is just starting to pick up after decreasing over the last couple generations.
Since the church gave up the responsibility of orphan care to the state in the mid-1900s, the separation of church and state has seeped into both sides: “Maybe the church didn’t think they should be as involved in justice if they didn’t save souls and the state didn’t think saving souls should be part of social service and justice,” Bergstrom said.
As state funds dwindle, local church communities have taken back their historic role in filling that gap, Bergstrom said. “It’s really exciting, a lot of walls are falling down because the faith community is stepping up in a good way.”
For many Christian couples like the Mericles, orphan care ministry is not just a trend but a recapturing of biblical principles that define “pure and undefiled religion” as visiting orphans and widows (James 1:27).
“There’s a clear biblical call to care for the orphans,” Medefind said. “Throughout history, care for the orphans has been a central part of the Christian DNA since our earliest days under the Roman Empire.” See the full article HERE.